Driving rally for ICE detainees; Cuba & Roswell Park; Fair Fines & Fees

01 April 2020

As we start a new month, we hope you are still coping with “social”/ that is, *physical distancing. We know we have more of this ahead of us, so now is the time to focus on taking care of ourselves and others. We are also learning that we still have work to do. We hope this update serves as a source of both information and support.

Tonight is the premiere of the NOVA program “Cuba’s Cancer Hope” on PBS. Roswell Park medical staff are featured, who have shared with us and the world their gratitude for the Cuban medical personnel! More information below – don’t miss it!

Today and tomorrow we will be out in support of those who are detained. This is more important than ever considering the current public health crisis! There are two different opportunities: First, please join us this evening for our weekly vigil at the Erie County Holding Center, while remembering to adhere to physical distancing guidelines (at least 6 ft). We also hope to see you tomorrow afternoon for our driving rally around the blocks of the local ICE field offices (see below). Please put signs and streamers on the outside of your car so that your participation is visible, and join us in honking so your participation is audible. You can find our route map on Facebook and our website. #DETENTIONISDEADLY

Please also refer to our website for a CALL TO ACTION by the Fair Fines + Fees Coalition. Considering the national health crisis, we must shift our focus to the immediate needs of our communities. This includes not only water and housing, but also transportation. Cars are still being ticketed and impounded, so we are asking you to help us protect Buffalo residents still on the road.

And most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourselves. You can find support at the Buffalo Mutual Aid Network, as well as great tips and resources from the WNYCOSH here and IIB here. You’ll also see other opportunities to help others out!

Lastly, today is Census Day! Participating in the 2020 Census is a form of civic engagement and is good for our communities; it is used to determine the allocation of healthcare, housing, education, and transportation funding, as well as how legislative districts are drawn. In the current public health crisis, we know just how important it is to protect people over profits – individuals and families over corporations and industries – and this is a way to help do that. A few important points about the Census:

1. It can be completed by mail, phone, or online.

2. When completing the census, include everyone living in your home as of 01 April (today!). This includes all children born as of today!

3. The Census Bureau will not email or text people for the 2020 Census – beware of scams!

4. The deadline to complete the census has been extended to mid-August.

5. The 2020 Census is safe! The data is protected by federal law and cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies, local housing authorities, or other federal agencies.

6. The census is available in 12 non-English languages by phone and online, and has 59 non-English language guides to walk you through the process step-by-step. Guides are also available in Braille and large print English.

Please see below, including great opportunities this week, regularly schedule events, and current campaigns. Also keep checking for more at wnypeace.org, on our Facebook page, Twitter (@wnypeace), and Instagram (@wnypeace)!

Peace, thanks, solidarity and yes – love.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3



Premiering on WNED-TV at 9 PM. When the U.S. trade embargo left Cuba isolated from medical resources, Cuban scientists were forced to get creative. Now they’ve developed lung cancer vaccines that show so much promise, some Americans are defying the embargo and traveling to Cuba for treatment. In an unprecedented move, Cuban researchers are working with U.S. partners to make the medicines more widely available. This includes Roswell Park medical staff, who’ve shared with us and the world their gratitude for the Cuban medical personnel! Don’t miss it!


From 12:30 – 1 PM. Join the Immigrant & Refugee Justice taskforce (IRJ) and drive around the block of the ICE field offices at the Delaware North building. Route:North on Delaware Ave, left onto N Johnson Park, left onto S Elmwood, left onto Chippewa. Please put signs and streamers taped onto the outside of your vehicle and be ready to honk away! (Thanks, SURJ, for this great protest idea!) The people detained in Batavia are truly in danger due to people congestion, poor medical treatment, inadequate nutrition, and overall unhealthful conditions for people whose health may very likely already be more vulnerable. #ReleaseThemNow #DetentionIsDeadly #FreeThemAll


At 7 PM via Facebook Premiere. Free Fred Brown! explores themes of community, resilience and solidarity in the midst of social crisis. For years, PUSH Green has worked with local communities to make them more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, Ujima Company, Inc. and PUSH Buffalo invite community members to join in a screening and discussion of Free Fred Brown! See https://www.facebook.com/events/213821406518755/ for more information.

REGULARLY SCHEDULED EVENTS – continuing with physical distance guidelines fully follows:


At the Erie County Holding Center, Delaware Ave between Church & Eagle Streets, Buffalo. Join the Prisoners’ Rights taskforce for their weekly vigil/protests on Wednesday from 4-5:30 PM. The ECHC has significantly higher deaths than similar facilities. The Sheriff’s Department has misreported and been determined to have committee homicide by medical neglect per the DOJ! The Sheriff’s Administration is a public health emergency! *** All are welcome; please bring signs. *** Also, please call Mark Poloncarz at 716-858-8500 to urge him to release ECHC inmates as they are in extreme danger at the ECHC.


At Front Park (Vermont & Busti), Buffalo. Join the Environmental Justice taskforce every Friday from 2-3 PM to protest shipments of VERY dangerous radioactive liquid transported bfrom Canada over the Peace Bridge. Due to the public health emergency, please bring your own signs. You can also call Governor Cuomo’s office to DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY! Phone: 518-474-8390, press 1 when the recording begins. Script: “Governor Cuomo, please declare a climate emergency for the state of New York, which means an immediate ban on all new fossil fuel infrastructure. I’m calling from zip code xxxxx.”


Due to the public health emergency, the WNYCC had to cancel their in-person Buffalo Climate Strike on 20 March. The goal of the strike, to ask our Common Council members of Buffalo, is to pass a Climate Resolution. The strike has now become a weekly (every Friday!) digital strike – please join them by sharing seflies and pictures with your rally signs and posters for the Buffalo Climate Strike to Declare a Climate Emergency on social media, and use the hashtags #DIGITALSTRIKE #WNYYOUTHCLIMATE #DECLAREACLIMATEEMERGENCY


Nonviolence vigil at Bidwell & Elmwood; Saturdays, noon – 1 PM. All are welcome; you don’t need to be a woman or dress in black. Please bring your own signs due to the current public health emergency.



The spread of COVID-19 has exposed a rot at the center of American society: that we siphon 55% of our discretionary budget into the Pentagon — $738 billion — while we allocate only 1.5% of that — $11 billion — to the Centers for Disease Control. Tell Congress to double the CDC’s budge by cutting money to the Pentagon: https://www.codepink.org/doublecdc


At least 1,800 Iranians DEAD. Over 23,000 INFECTED. AN ESTIMATED 3.5 MILLION MAY DIE. Urge Congress to introduce COVID19-related legislation to lift sanctions on Iran: https://www.codepink.org/covid19diplomacy #SanctionsKill #SanctionsSpreadCOVID19


Demand peace, diplomacy, and sane domestic and foreign policies from your Senators and/or House Representatives: https://www.panys.org/current-actions/


Hold District Attorneys across New York accountable to ending mass incarceration, plus fighting against tenant abuse, homelessness, environmental violence, and racist housing policies: https://citizenactionny.org/


Support the campaign to free our immigrant and refugee neighbors from detention facilities during the current public health crisis: https://nyimmigrantfreedom.org/let-my-people-go/

FFJC Policy Recommendations and Reform Tracker on COVID-19

Support evidence-based policies that jurisdictions around the country should take to help stem this public health and economic crisis: https://finesandfeesjusticecenter.org/articles/ffjc-policy-recommendations-for-the-covid-19-crisis/

#UNITE | #OneLove | #WeShallOvercome | #SiSePuede!